CONDO CONVERSION ON 78TH HALTED BY JUDGE AMID FRAUD INVESTIGATION

the evelyn3

A condo conversion of the “Evelyn” building at 101 West 78th street was halted by a judge to allow Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to investigate the owners for fraud, according to DNAinfo.

Schneiderman says Newcastle Realty Services initially said that the 44-unit building would be converted to 43 condo apartments without any construction, but that they later filed plans to do major construction that would create 23 larger apartments. Only about 10 tenants remain in the building; Newcastle bought it in 2012 for $85 million, Schneiderman said.

The development company, led by Margaret Streicker Porres, also pushed tenants to accept buyout offers before they’d had sufficient time to review the conversion plan and did not offer them the chance to buy their apartments, which is illegal, Schneiderman said in a statement.

Newcastle also did not let Schneiderman’s office know it was offering tenants buyouts, which is illegal as well, the AG said.

“In attempting to clear the building of tenants to make a conversion easier and more lucrative, these developers violated the law and stripped tenants of their rights,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

There was no immediate response from Newcastle.

The Evelyn was built in 1885. Back in 1885, rents were $80 to $150 a month, according to the Times. It’s not entirely clear which Evelyn the building is named after, but the Times surmises it was one of the developers’ daughters. In 2013, the developers attempted to add rooftop apartments to the building.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 4 comments | permalink
    1. Pedestrian says:

      A developer who ignored the law! What a shock.

    2. Gary says:

      I’ve always heard the building was named after Evelyn Nesbit who had a famous affair with the building’s architect, Stanford White.

    3. Liz says:

      I think it is really revolting that developers can get away with these “bait and switch” construction proposals and with strong arming tenants out of their apartments.

      I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised any more however. The middle class in NYC is going, going, gone. Also, there is no such thing as low income housing.

      All of these mega developments are based solely on greed. There is no consideration for the quality of life, historic value of property, and aesthetics.

      Maybe it’s me; but, I miss the real, old New York — grit and true New York character.

      • webot says:

        Still plenty of grit in New York City – Walk the streets, take the subway, go to other neighborhoods.

        Now, this developer seems to have tried to pull a bit of sleazy move here.
        BUT
        Lets read between the lines. These tenants got money to vacate apartments (that they do not own). They did NOT have to take it – the 10 existing tenants did not.
        The owner is combining units into bigger ones – as the market demands – families want big apartments on the UWS and yes are rich enough to afford them (wish I could).
        Maybe the tenants were out and the decision was made to combine them.
        So now the former tenants have remorse and want more money.

        At we have an AG who will pander to renters (voters) with hyperbole.
        That said, the developer should know to follow all the rules (which are a overwhelming). but they should have known better especially when dealing with occupied units.

        Personally I think the AG has more important things to do.